The big news this week is that we had our anatomy scan and found out the sex of the baby.

I had a lot of feelings going into the ultrasound. I am a feminist, and don’t believe that sex determines the rest of your life in essentialist kinds of ways. I think of the wide variety of women I have known in my life–with different ways of being, hugely different personalities, different things they loved, and whose love and partnerships have looked very different. In the same way with men, there are so many different ways of being a man in this world that are valid and worthy. And not even bringing into the question whether this biological sex will end up being the gender the child identifies with as they grow!

And so going into this, knowing that we would find out more about anatomy than personhood… I was trying to put into words why this was mattering to me as much as it was. One of the answers I came to is that with the words “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl,” it would dramatically affect how they will be treated in their life–what their struggles will be, what their joys or expectations, what my role might be shaped by in supporting them throughout their life. I would hope to give them the same opportunities to explore and discover more about this incredible world and to find their interests and loves. But they will encounter a world that treats them differently based on sex. And a girl’s experience, although different based on who they are, would have more pressures in common with my path and a boy’s would be more like my husband’s in some ways. The experience of being a parent would be different for me–although there are so many variable still to discover that will dramatically affect what it will be to be their parent.

I have thinking as well about this “gender reveal party” phenomenon too (and entertaining myself that it should be called a “sex reveal party” but that then people might be a bit more wary to come ;-)). We’re not having one, but here’s what I love about it: you invite the important people in your life and it is taken as a given that whether you have pink or blue revealed–everyone cheers. This is actually a really revolutionary thing. It hasn’t been that long that “having a boy” and “having a girl” were considered equally good things to happen. And here you have this whole crowd of people gathering, knowing that difference is possible, and who have made the choice that no matter what, you cheer and say “congratulations!”

Because honestly, this is what I want for the wee-whippersnapper: that when they go through life and come to realizations about who they are and who they have been made to be, I want them to encounter a community that cheers no matter what. Gay or straight, male or female, “I want to play baseball” or “I love to paint,” active, quiet, all the varieties of personhood–I want them to know a community that is prepared to cheer no matter what.

And at the very least, I want that to be their experience of us as parents.

But enough with the awkward “their” pronouns (I called someone up to ask about daycare, and they mistakenly thought I was having twins).

We had the anatomy scan, and everything is healthy, all the organs are growing well, there were hiccups that made me laugh, and a beautiful profile. And it’s a girl. We are having a girl.

And the very sentence of “I’m having a daughter” still makes me tear up. Hi wee one, what a joy to get to know you.

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